The “it’s complicated”–style relationship between conservative councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby and Mayor Rob Ford appears to have collapsed, and the Toronto Star has the sordid details. As a right-leaning councillor, Lindsay Luby has been a pretty dependable vote for the mayor’s agenda. But those days appear to be over, at least for now.
At council’s special meeting on service cuts, Lindsay Luby criticized Ford for falsely raising the spectre of a 35 per cent tax hike. She said she had not been given enough information to approve cuts.
She authored a surprise proposal to forbid the privatization of the Toronto Parking Authority. And she voted with council’s left-leaning faction on numerous tight votes, voting against Ford 25 times in all — after voting with him on every major issue of his mayoral term before Tuesday.
Lindsay Luby, a councillor since 1985, has never been close with Ford. He unsuccessfully ran against her in 1997, famously called her a “waste of skin” during a debate about a pothole in 2005, and backed her challenger in the 2010 election.
Clearly the relationship between Ford and Lindsay Luby hasn’t always been rosy. But the Star goes on to point out that Ford won 68 per cent of the vote in her ward. In other words, she represents his base. But instead of attempting to woo her back, Ford’s team shut her out—on Tuesday, she didn’t receive a copy of the “cheat sheets” that recommend how the mayor’s allies should vote.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, also a Ford ally, told the Star that Lindsay Luby’s voting record was “schizophrenic.” Under Mayor David Miller, she voted in favour of the vehicle registration and land transfer taxes. But she broke with Miller on other issues and eventually quit his executive committee. Of course, an outsider might take all this as a sign that Lindsay Luby isn’t beholden to ideology and would be open to reasoning and coaxing. And if Ford should have learned one thing from his recent defeats, it’s that it’s going to take more than a cheat sheet to win votes.